Former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti sat down recently with FourFourTwo for a “one-on-one” session where he answered random questions from random people on the Internet. With a career as long and successful and varied as Ancelotti’s, the questions naturally covered a wide range of topics, but there were a few that were about Chelsea and those are the ones that are interesting in this case.
Some of it is stuff we’ve heard before in other interviews, such as his praise for current boss (and his former player at Juventus), Antonio Conte.
Conte is a hard worker: really serious, really professional and always focused on his job. Chelsea are getting a top manager who will look at all the little details. Coming to England from Italy, he will find a different world: less pressure, no violence, a great atmosphere, full stadiums – just totally different from Italy at this moment. He can definitely be a success at Chelsea. The club has a lucky relationship with Italian managers. There was Gianluca Vialli, me, and then Roberto Di Matteo, who helped them to win the Champions League.
Or his lack of harsh feelings towards Chelsea and a possible future return to management with the Blues.
No, no [Chelsea didn’t ask me to replace Mourinho last year]. But I would have no problem going back to Chelsea. My experience with Chelsea, and in English football, was fantastic.
But the stuff about his final year at Chelsea is new, or at least new to me. Especially the bit about his sacking on the final day at Goodison, which has gone down in lore as getting sacked in the tunnel. Ancelotti makes no mention of that, though I suppose the difference is academic.
“We started well [in 2010-11], then had a lot of injuries. We had [John] Terry, [Michael] Essien and Drogba out. I was not happy with Ray being sacked as it was during the season. I wanted to keep him.”
“It is usual for the owner to come into the dressing room after a game to say hello. But at that moment, after losing that game [the Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester United], everyone was a little bit embarrassed. There was total silence. I tried to break it with a little speech.”
“No, I knew the situation, and I knew it was coming [the sacking on the final day of the season]. I was in the [away] dressing room [at Goodison Park], but it was no shock, because to be sacked is just part of your job. There is no manager who has never been sacked. OK, maybe Pep Guardiola, who has decided to leave clubs, but he has had only a short career in management so far – just eight years.”
-Carlo Ancelotti; source: FourFourTwo
If there were Steam Achievements to collect for real life football managers, Carlo would no doubt have the vast majority of them already. He’s currently off at Bayern Munich to collect the final few missing ones, looking to win a trophy with a German team after doing so with Italian, English, French, and Spanish clubs.
Ancelotti is a true legend of football management, and we’re all the better off for having had him at the Bridge for a couple seasons. Even if he never comes back in that capacity, he will always be welcomed back with open arms.